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  • 26/01/2019 10:58 AM

    Behind the scenes: Australia Day 2019

    Behind the scenes of Sydney Harbour’s busiest day of the year and the biggest maritime celebration in the country: Australia Day 2019.

    Sydney celebrated Australia Day in true maritime style once again this year and Circular Quay was at the heart of it all. Thousands of spectators came down to the water’s edge to get a glimpse of the action on the harbour and the Overseas Passenger Terminal opened its doors to welcome them in as well as hosting this year’s citizenship ceremony.

    Out on the water, Port Authority’s tug boat Shirley Smith was there to keep a watchful eye on proceedings and lead the tall ships and ferrython across the harbour.

    As an official sponsor of the event, Port Authority also had a role in the annual Harbour Parade competition with Sydney Harbour Master Phil Holliday judging the best dressed recreational vessels of the day.

    Image: Port Authority's firefighting tug Shirley Smith dresses up for Australia Day 2019 on Sydney Harbour. 

    But it wasn’t all just fun and games. While the city celebrated, Port Authority’s marine operations teams were on hand to make sure the harbour stayed safe.

    Port Authority provides a 24-hour emergency response for marine incidents in both Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay. With so many ships taking part for Australia Day, Port Authority’s crews were on standby to assist vessels in trouble or respond to reports of pollution, while Port Authority’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) team monitored the shipping channels to provide navigational and safety information to the hundreds of vessels on the water.

    Image: hundred of boats took to Sydney Habour for Australia Day 2019

    “Thanks to every member of our team who played a part in helping stage this spectacular day,” says Sydney Harbour Master Phil Holliday. “So much work goes on behind the scenes in coordinating an event on this scale — months of planning and hard work that goes unnoticed when everything goes according to plan as it should.”

    “Thanks too to everyone who was hard at work on the day to ensure everyone on the water stayed safe while the city celebrated. It was a fantastic team effort.”

    Sydney Harbour gets busier every year and ships coming to our shores are getting bigger. If you’re a recreational boater, take care and find out how to stay safe on Sydney Harbour.

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